George Ferguson is mayor of Bristol, UK. George was a past President of the Royal Institute of British Architects, was co-founder of Ferguson Mann Architects in 1979 and founded the national UK wide network of practices, Acanthus, in 1986.
He has a wide variety of experience in architectural, master planning and regeneration projects, including urban regeneration and historic building work that formed the foundation of his practice.This includes many award winning schemes such as the Bristol Millennium project with its new urban spaces, Royal William Yard in Plymouth, and his own mould breaking Tobacco Factory mixed use project and nationally acclaimed theatre that has helped kick start the regeneration of South Bristol.
He is a lateral thinker and has been a prime mover for change in attitude to planning and redevelopment in the South West Region and beyond. This led him to being awarded honorary degrees from the Universities of Bristol and of the West of England, and to being elected RIBA President (2003-2005) when he was noted for championing the causes of education, the environment and urbanism. He was appointed a CBE in the 2010 New Years Honours for services to architecture and to the community in the South West.
A co-founder of the Academy of Urbanism, he writes, broadcasts and lectures extensively on the environment, planning and architectural matters at home and abroad. He is amongst many other things a Trustee of Bristol’s Arnolfini art gallery, recently of the London based ‘think tank’ Demos and is an Academician of the Royal West of England Academy. He is also founder of the Bristol Beer Factory.
Having studied at Bristol University (three degrees including an honorary degree), Mr Ferguson has lived in Bristol for 47 years.
He declared his intention to stand as an independent candidate in the Bristol mayoral election prior to the city-wide referendum held on 3rd May 2012. Bristol was the only one of ten cities polled that voted in favour of a directly elected mayor.
Mr Ferguson ran as the Bristol 1st candidate (a party that he registered in order for the Bristol 1st logo to appear alongside his name on ballot papers) and polled 37,353 votes to Labour Candidate Marvin Rees’ 31,259 votes.
He becomes the first independent mayor to lead a major city in Britain and was officially sworn in at a ceremony held at Brunel’s Passenger Shed, Temple Meads on 19th November 2012.